Your diligence in pursuit of the Lord should be like that of a father who can not take his eyes off his newly born child. That is true, unconditional love. If you expect to spend eternity with God, and I pray that you do, how can you reasonably not seek Him, right now?
A loving Father is saying to His children, get your priorities straight. Time is running out. Prophecy is being fulfilled before your very eyes. Prepare yourself to enter into My presence and in the interval, serve Me, worship Me, and obey Me. Keep the commandments, not out of fear, which, given the consequences of judgment would be a reasonable thing to do, but keep the commandments out of love and obey in His strength, not yours.
Choose this day, this moment, who you will serve. Listen.
Deuteronomy 4:39-40 (NKJ)
39 “Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.
40 “You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time.”
God is calling Israel, the nation, and you the Jew, “this day”!
Deuteronomy 26:15-19 (NKJ)
15 ‘Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the land which You have given us, just as You swore to our fathers, “a land flowing with milk and honey.”‘
16 “This day the LORD your God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments; therefore you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
17 “Today you have proclaimed the LORD to be your God, and that you will walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments, and that you will obey His voice.
18 “Also today the LORD has proclaimed you to be His special people, just as He has promised you, that you should keep all His commandments,
19 “and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the LORD your God, just as He has spoken.”
I have quoted some of these next verses before in this presentation, but I suggest you read them, again and again, until the truth sinks in. Pray for discernment.
1 “Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God drives you,
2 “and you return to the LORD your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul,
3 “that the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you.
4 “If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you.
5 “Then the LORD your God will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers
6 “And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.
7 “Also the LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.
8 “And you will again obey the voice of the LORD and do all His commandments which I command you today.
9 “The LORD your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the LORD will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers,
10 “if you obey the voice of the LORD your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
11 “For this commandment which I command you today, it is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off.
12 “It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
13 “Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
14 “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil,
16 “in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His
judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.
17 “But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them,
18 “I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.
19 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
20 “that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (NKJ)
Repent is a theme throughout the Bible. Why? I believe that repentance is the whole issue. You can not serve the Lord and serve Satan, simultaneously. To repent is to decide that the war for your spirit is over. It is, interestingly, given God’s power, your decision. You could be compelled to obey but as any father knows, that sort of obedience makes your son as a puppet, not a man. God teaches us over and over that we must “choose.”
Jeremiah 25:5-6 (NKJ)
5 “They said, ‘Repent now everyone of his evil way and his evil doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers forever and ever.
6 ‘Do not go after other gods to serve them and worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will not harm you.’
Ezekiel 14:6-8 (NKJ)
6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.
7 “For anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, then comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, I the LORD will answer him by Myself.
8 “I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.
Repent literally means to “turn,” to turn from what you are, in this case, to what you could be. Ezekiel says above that anyone who “sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity,” and then seeks the advice of a prophet concerning the Lord, you will receive an answer from God Himself.
Do you have any “idols in your heart?” What is an idol except anything that you revere more than you revere God? If you could “chronicle every thought and action for one day,” in what proportion of that day would God be present? Said differently, if God was “auditing your every thought and action,” what would the Auditor have seen this day? Read the following Psalm carefully. This is how well God knows you!
Psalm 139:1-18 (NKJ)
1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; you understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.
Psalm 56:8 (NKJ)
8 You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?
The following verses have always intrigued me. They place in perspective how omnipresent our God really is. How often do you think to yourself, “God is present, the Holy Spirit is present, right this second?”
I have stated earlier than the “breeze,” when it moves a tree or when you feel its gentle healing, comes from the root word “pneuma.” Pneuma is the root word for Holy Spirit. Never let the breeze move around you again without acknowledging the Holy Spirit’s presence. The hairs of your head are numbered and not one falls apart from His knowledge. And sometimes you think God doesn’t care, He isn’t present, and He isn’t listening. That is wrong, very wrong thinking. Understand and believe the following verses. If you fail to repent, you fail, according to the scriptures, to enter into God’s presence, peace and eternity.
Matthew 10:29-30 (NKJ)
29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.
30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Proverbs 15:3 (NKJ)
3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.
Then God tells us that what He sees, He will judge. Repentance is the key to reform.
Ezekiel 18:30-32 (NKJ)
30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord GOD. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin.
31 “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel?
32 “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord GOD. “Therefore turn and live!”
2 Corinthians 5:10 (NKJ)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Acts 2:38-39 (NKJ)
38 …Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
Acts 8:22-23 (NKJ)
22 “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
23 “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
15 For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
16 For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him; I hid and was angry, and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.
19 “I create the fruit of the lips: peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” Says the Lord. “And I will heal him.”
If you read only this topic, it is enough. It is the entire message. Nothing else matters. If you decide to respond to God’s love, if you decide that you have erred greatly up to this moment, then with a humble and contrite heart, stop reading and start praying.
Ask God to forgive you of every sin you have ever committed, by acknowledging Jesus as your personal “Atoner,” the Redeemer, and the One who died for your sins. Ask for the total cleansing of your soul. Ask for a new heart, one free from the shackles of your past, one committed to spending whatever days you have left, seeking and serving your Lord.
Ask to be filled, constantly, with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, with that refreshing, clean breeze of God that surrounds you, now and forever. Then go, as a person dying of thirst, to His Holy Word. Listen to what God wants to teach you. Never intentionally sin again.
And as you commit yourself to His Hands, understand this. Satan will have lost a lover. Satan is not a good loser. As long as you were his slave (I doubt you ever thought of it that way), he could ignore you. You were right where he wanted you, so why waste any energy on you. His goal is to destroy the faith of those who dwell in the security of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
If you decide to repent, to be born again, you are changing teams. You will have become Satan’s enemy and he has no other more important agenda than to try to destroy your new found faith. You can not fight Satan. His power exceeds anything you can intellectually grasp. He is the prince and the ruler of this earth, this temporary testing ground. Only by the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit in you can you resist the temptation he is going to deliver to your doorstep.
How can I speak with such certainty? First, I have been there and so has every Christian. Listen to these verses.
Matthew 12:43-45 (NKJ)
43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.
44 “Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.
45 “Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
I say this to you with all certainty. Satan wants to own you and your heart. Listen to God’s Word.
Luke 22:31 (NKJ)
31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.
1 Peter 5:8-9 (NKJ)
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
He will stop at nothing to bring you down. I believe that Satan’s greatest moments of joy are when he publicly defeats a strong Christian, making that Christian look and feel like a complete idiot. How could a person who has been redeemed somehow fall back into the evil hand of Satan and serve him? The answer is that we who are saved misestimate the power of the flesh, the power of Satan. He can be rebuked, but neither by you nor I. Only the power of the Holy Spirit is greater than the power of Satan. Never vow that you can handle any temptation Satan can deliver. You simply can not overcome his power on your own. Flee, literally, from his lure sensing that the entrapment he offers is just that. It is a trap and it is one that can ruin your life, your marriage, your relationships and perhaps, short of acceptable repentance, your eternity.
The Bible has a classic verse that describes this phenomenon in a very visual way. The verse I refer to comes at the end of a very telling lesson by Peter. You know people who have experienced this kind of temptation and who have misled others in the process. Listen.
2 Peter 2:1-22 (NKJ)
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;
6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;
7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked
8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)–
9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,
10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,
11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.
12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption,
13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you,
14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.
15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet.
17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
A person reverting to the service of Satan is as one eating his vomit. If that doesn’t clarify the situation for you, little else will! Sin may look very attractive. See it for what it is. A trap set for you by the expert, one who takes pleasure in your defeat.
One of the reasons you must study those verses very carefully is that it will help you understand how powerful the lure of sin is. Even some of the strongest believers have fallen victim to the power of Satan. Thank God for the Holy Spirit, the power and presence of Christ in you as you reside in this cauldron of sin. Is it any wonder that the earth and all the things in it will pass away? It is Satan’s domain, except at the beginning, Eden, and at the end, Eden restored. Listen to Ezekiel’s teaching on this matter:
Ezekiel 36:33-36 (NKJ)
33 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt.
34 “The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by.
35 “So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’
36 “Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it.”
Then Isaiah further clarifies what is coming:
Isaiah 51:3 (NKJ)
3 For the LORD will comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places; he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
I will offer a word of strong advice regarding Satan. Do not spend time studying and investigating all the ways in which he manifests himself in cults and in ideologies. Satan is not a subject to be “understood thoroughly” but instead, flee, literally from any sign of his presence. Listen to several quotes that make this point perfectly.
Genesis 39:6-12 (NKJ)
6 …And Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.
7 And it came to pass … that his master’s wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.”
8 But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand.
9 “There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
10 So it was, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he did not heed her, to lie with her or to be with her.
11 But it happened about this time, when Joseph went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the house was inside,
12 that she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.
1 Corinthians 6:15-20 (NKJ)
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!
16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”
17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.
18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Timothy 6:9-14 (NKJ)
9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,
14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing,
2 Timothy 2:22 (NKJ)
22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
See sin for what it is. Sin is Satan’s tool to bring you down. When the allure of sin is at your doorstep, you can analyze it, gaze at it, consider it or flee from it. You can not, in and of your own strength, resist it. Those who study the powers of evil are drawing near to that which you should avoid, assiduously.
I suppose it is obvious, but if not, understand this. False idols take on all sorts of external appearance. Whether it is palm reading, channeling, spiritism, astrology or black magic, it matters not. They are all efforts to have your life and decisions directed by some power other than the Holy Spirit in you. Spiritism, mysticism and all sorts of “seers” exist today. Read these quotations carefully. God will be very angry with those who practice such things.
Leviticus 20:26-27 (NKJ)
26 ‘And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.
27 ‘A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones. Their blood shall be upon them.’ “
1 Chronicles 10:13 (NKJ)
13 So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the LORD, because he did not keep the word of the LORD, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance.
2 Chronicles 33:1-7 (NKJ)
1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem.
2 But he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.
3 For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; he raised up altars for the Baals, and made wooden images; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
4 He also built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem shall My name be forever.”
5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.
6 Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger.
7 He even set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever;
Jeremiah 10:2-5 (NKJ)
2 Thus says the LORD: “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple.
5 They are upright, like a palm tree, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot go by themselves. Do not be afraid of them, for they cannot do evil, nor can they do any good.”
Isaiah 8:18-20 (NKJ)
18 Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me! We are for signs and wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, who dwells in Mount Zion.
19 And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?
20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Isaiah 19:2-3 (NKJ)
2 “I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom.
3 The spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst; I will destroy their counsel, and they will consult the idols and the charmers, the mediums and the sorcerers.
Ezekiel 13:9-10 (NKJ)
9 “My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
10 “Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace…
Ezekiel 13:17-18, 23 (NKJ)
17 “Likewise, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own heart; prophesy against them,
18 “and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of My people, and keep yourselves alive?
23 “Therefore you shall no longer envision futility nor practice divination; for I will deliver My people out of your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”‘ “
Micah 5:12-13 (NKJ)
12 I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no soothsayers.
13 Your carved images I will also cut off, and your sacred pillars from your midst; you shall no more worship the work of your hands;
Acts 19:13-20 (NKJ)
13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”
14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
18 And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds.
19 Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver.
20 So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.
The following quote covers more ground than simply this subject of false idols, but you should see this in the context of “independence from God.”
Isaiah 47:8-15 (NKJ)
8 “Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell securely, who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children’;
9 But these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day: the loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness because of the multitude of your sorceries, for the great abundance of your enchantments.
10 “For you have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, ‘No one sees me’; your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; and you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me.’
11 Therefore evil shall come upon you; you shall not know from where it arises. And trouble shall fall upon you; you will not be able to put it off. And desolation shall come upon you suddenly, which you shall not know.
12 “Stand now with your enchantments and the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have labored from your youth– perhaps you will be able to profit, perhaps you will prevail.
13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels; let now the astrologers, the stargazers, and the monthly prognosticators stand up and save you from what shall come upon you.
14 Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; it shall not be a coal to be warmed by, nor a fire to sit before!
15 Thus shall they be to you with whom you have labored, your merchants from your youth; they shall wander each one to his quarter. No one shall save you.
Jesus is the one who has defeated the power of Satan. Listen to the words of James, the half brother of Jesus (Mary had additional children but the additional children were fathered by Joseph, not the Holy Spirit).
James 4:1-10 (NKJ)
1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?
2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously?”
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Jesus’ victory over death, is our victory over death as well. The only kind of death that matters is spiritual death. Physical death is as nothing, if it means you are transitioning to perfection, to eternal life in a perfect place where sin does not exist. The following verses should help you understand God’s perspective on death.
Isaiah 57:1-2 (NKJ)
1 The righteous perishes, and no man takes it to heart; merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil.
2 He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.
Listen to the point again. The righteous, when they die, is taken away from evil and shall enter into peace. We grieve, properly, but they who die in Christ, joyfully celebrate their redemption.
We who love God will not die twice! We are born twice, once of the water, at physical birth and once of the Spirit. Being born again is to be born of the Spirit.
If your spirit is to dwell in eternity with other evil spirits, separated from those who love God and from whom God loves, then you have completely misunderstood God’s will for you. He would that no man perish.
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJ)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
But you have volition. You are in charge. Who can you possibly blame for not responding to God’s love? Repent, I pray and respond to His love. His eyes are upon you this moment and the eternal kingdom and His eternal peace awaits you. The angels are standing on tiptoes to see you knock at the door and come in.
Luke 15:10 (NKJ)
10 “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinnerwho repents.”
Your name is in the Book of Life. Do not blot it out. It is God’s perfect will that you be His child, under His care and protection, forever.